Parking in Portugal is a confusing affair. There are car parks everywhere, with clearly delineated spaces, yet the rule is generally “park your car wherever there is space if you think you can get away with it”.
Here are some visual examples of the kind of parking you will routinely come across in Portugal. First, the double space parking – where someone literally, greedily and selfishly takes up two spaces in a car park. This may be to prevent their car being scratched by another careless driver (after all, most of them are Portuguese drivers), but it is just as likely to be because the person parking in two spaces is incapable of actually noticing that there are lines at all.
The reason for this disregard of lines may be due to the fact that Portuguese people are used to complete freedom of parking. At big events, for example, the car parks fill up quickly and people just start creating their own car parks along major thoroughfares.
Or, if all the car parks and roads are full, your next option is to find a large space on the pavement, ensuring you have a gap to get in and a gap to get out.
The Smart car is very popular in Portuguese cities, and many Smart drivers park the car in the way it was advertised – wideways on. A useful solution to a small space. Even if you do still use a bit of pavement to do it.